The day begins with the Communion service.
I’m a little deflated, disappointed. It has been a few years since I got my eyes tested. Probably need to go to Specsavers. Now the Moderator lead worship with dignity. We sang hymns old and new and it sounded good. Yet the absence of printed daily papers meant we didn’t all have access to the words of the Nicene Creed and you could hear the drop in participation. But this was the bit I missed due to the state of my eye sight. For some reason I didn’t have a fellowship cup so I could take bread and wine with everyone else. Now, we’ve done the Fellowship Cup thing in Westwood. We did it once and agreed it was horrid. What stopped the GA from using servers just like any other year? So, I felt left out (probably my own fault) and at the same time glad cause I would have hated it anyway! If that makes me a contrary person, then that’s what I am.
Business begins. And a welcome to Prof Jason Leitch who has been afforded the opportunity to address the Assembly. Respect.
A goodly number of people want to speak on the passing into the Law of The C of S the solemnisation of same-sex marriage. The majority of Presbyteries voted in favour of the change. Ah dear! We rehearse the same arguments that have been rehearsed so many times before. We have nothing new to say on this. Debate over the voting takes place. Agreed. 274 / 136
Back from lunch. Ecumenical Relations Committee take the floor. Brings back memories of sitting in the “Play Pen” with ER Committee colleagues in previous years. Always nerve wracking.
There is a joyful warmth in the hall at hearing positive words, good news, words of friendship, collaboration. Archbishop Leo Cushley addresses the Assembly to warm applause. Many stories of friendship are told where C of S and Catholic clergy and parishes have found deep and lasting relationships. The Assembly vote in order to record an outcome for posterity. Assembly approve the Declaration of Friendship 421 / 4. In future the Declaration to be known as the St. Margaret’s Declaration.
The Westminster Confession of Faith… time to express the faith of the church in a new way? Or in multiple confessions of faith contained in a volume of confessions for the church of which the Westminster confession would be one. There is a need to retain the early confessions of faith like Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed and recognise that the Westminster Confession has been problematic in the C of S for almost a century! The report concludes but we are now about an hour behind the schedule.